Bangkok - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can get just about anything you want here, from any country in the world. There are several high-end grocery chains (Villa, Tops, Gourmet Market, etc.) which carry a wide variety of American, European, Southeast Asian, Korean, Japanese, and of course Thai groceries. Anything imported will cost 25-50% more than back in your home country, but American companies have long produced local versions of American products, so you can find local varieties of Tide laundry detergent, U.S. shampoos and cosmetics, some housing/cleaning supplies, American chips and snacks, etc. This is Southeast Asia, so produce and especially fruits are abundant, delicious, and cheap (when in season), and you can find more temperate produce and fruits for a decent price, imported usually from Australia (think U.S. prices) or China (cheaper, but... it's from China). Dairy products (fresh milk, a variety of mostly imported cheeses from Australia & New Zealand & Europe) are plentiful. All sorts of meats (both locally grown and imported) are available, and there are great online delivery services such as PaleoRobbie that provide high-quality, customized produce, dairy, and meat options (including the thickest and richest Greek yogurt I've eaten outside of Greece/Turkey). If you're willing to shop more like a local middle-class Thai rather than a high-society Thai or foreigner, groceries can be significantly cheaper than in the United States. For example, if you shop at one of the wholesale/warehouse stores (Makro - kind of like Costco) or even one of the mass-scale super-stores (Big C or Lotus - kind of like Walmart) you can still find a decent range of international products, but save much more on produce, which is expensive in the nice supermarkets. To get the cheapest produce you can go to the local wet markets, or like I do, be ready to stop whenever you see a truck piled high with produce selling on the side of the street, straight from the farm. Hardware and home supply stores (HomePro is a typical example, think Home Depot) are modern and well-stocked with just about anything you could want. I will say, I do miss Costco and Trader Joe's, but there are some great things I can get here (again, the amazing tropical fruit, as well as some European and Australian/New Zealand products) that I can't easily find in the United States. - May 2022


Everything is available here. Imported goods cost more than they would at home but you can pretty much get everything you want. Fruits and vegetables are much more cost-effective on the local economy. Buying from your local fruit and vegetable vendors is best in terms of price and freshness. Electronics and furniture are a bit expensive here and imported meats such as beef. All household goods are easy to find. - Aug 2019


Some products are cheap, others are expensive. There are lots of grocery options and many places deliver. Bookmark paleorobbie.com, passiondelivery.com, honestbee.co.th and there are many others. - Jun 2018


Every single thing you could ever want is here- it may take a hit of time and "asking around" to find it, but I usually can find everything, and things are either cheap or what I would reasonably pay in the US. - Apr 2017


Very available and reasonably priced. It is rare that we cannot locate an item here. As expected most specialty items will be more expensive but it is typically not obscenely expensive. - Nov 2016


If you want American products, you will pay double or triple for them. If you get used to local brands, it will be a lot cheaper. - Aug 2015


Depends - but foreign goods are imported, and will be quite expensive. If you have a maid, you can have her buy food at local markets, which will be much cheaper than buying food at the international supermarkets. - Aug 2014


There are several "international grocery stores" in the downtown area that are the same cost as any high-real estate location market (think Whole Foods prices for Safeway products). As an embassy employee you may have access to a small commissary at post and/or order through APO. - May 2014


Anything packaged and imported is much more than at home, but many vegetables and herbs do seem to be cheaper. I can find just about anything I can think of (imported) at Villa. - Oct 2013


Afforable, and most american products are available, though a little more expensive. - Jul 2013


Easy to find, cheap prices. - Jun 2013


If you eat like a Thai, it will be cheap. If you can't do without maple syrup, you'll pay through the nose. - Jul 2012


You can find anything, but the prices can be much higher. - Oct 2011


Cheaper than in the west. - Aug 2011


Western groceries are 1.5 to 2 times more expensive then in the US.Local brands are more reasonable for cost with mostly comparable quality. Availability is plentiful and there are grocery stores everywhere. - Jul 2011


You can get most anything here, truly. If you eat Thai, you will save money. Western items are expensive. ACSA has stocking issues at times (waiting for powdered sugar for months), but we're generally happy and use it for occasional indulgences. Best of all, they offer a good wine selection and prices - wine is iffy due to heat, and is expensive here otherwise. You can definitely get your Cap'n Crunch fix if you need it for about $6-$7 a box. - Feb 2011


Groceries are reasonable, esp. if you have a local housekeeper who knows where to get the best deals. Cheese, wine, and olives are more expensive and heavily taxed. There are big grocery stores like Tesco Lotus, Foodland, and Tops. You can get most household supplies that you would find at home, though maybe not familiar brands. It's hard to find unscented products like laundry detergent--although if you have commissary access, you can get it at the embassy. - May 2010


A lot is available and its very inexpensive. I would consider buying hair products in the states as the products here are not of the same quality. - Apr 2010


food is in abundance here--in the open air markets and the regular supermarkets.thai food is much cheaper than imported western foods - Jan 2010


There are several large grocery store chains available throughout Bangkok; Tesco Lotus (UK based), and Carefour (French based). Both of these stores are pretty much like Walmart, in that they sell food items as well as everything else under the sun. There's also, Makro, Thailand's version of Costco, which sells items in bulk. If you stick to these places, whose cost actually isn't that much less than grocery shopping in the US, you'll do ok. But where it starts to become very costly is when you start shopping at places like Villa, a chain grocery store that stocks a lot of American products that will start to set you back. For example: a box of Lucky Charms is right at $8/$9, and a box of pop-tarts runs right at $4. Ouch! For those assigned to the U.S. Embassy, there's also a nice commissary that sells American food & drink items, but again, at considerably more that what you would pay back in the States. - Jul 2009


Western goods are a little more expensive. If you live partially ont eh local evonomy here (easy to do) you can greatly reduce your monthly expenses. - Apr 2009


About the same as the U.S. for basic staples, but MUCH more if you want things like Florida style orange juice or Cheerios. For 9/10 things there is a suitable local alternative. - Feb 2009


Subscribe to our newsletter


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More